A dark night. A quiet house. Was that noise just the wood settling? Was that shadow just a shadow? Or is it something more?
Moshannon Valley Paranormal might be able to tell you.
Tyson Lidgett started the home-based business last year, bringing his longtime fascination with the other-worldly to help homeowners and businesses find answers about the unknown.
“I’ve always been interested in the paranormal. I would consider myself a very spiritual person,” said Lidgett. An avowed Christian, he is also very clinical in his approach to the subject. “We don’t condone, nor do we believe in using any pagan means to investigate. It’s all very measurable and scientific.”
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MVP’s toolbox includes electromagnetic field detectors, digital voice recorders, noncontact infrared thermometers, digital cameras in regular, high definition and infrared varieties and other detection and communication devices.
“We use a lot of the stuff people see on TV,” said Lidgett, who works with a staff of 10 investigators. He shows all of the equipment to prospective clients before an investigation, and stresses the science to his team. “For me, being professional is huge. Being unprofessional can ruin chances for another team.”
That means that MVP is no fly-by-night group. The business is registered with the state and Lidgett makes sure clients see both his license and his liability insurance certificate. “We’re trying to be a beneficial part of the community. The community allows us to practice what we enjoy.”
And that means finding things that just defy explanation.
Lidgett has done investigations all around central Pennsylvania, including the Rowland Theatre and the Masonic Hall in Osceola Mills, and many private homes. Not every experience leads to a paranormal presence, but the ones that have given evidence have left an impression. His favorites?
“That would be a toss-up between the Phillips Hotel and the old Clearfield County jail,” he said.
The best video evidence came from the Philips, the now-closed historic hotel in downtown Philipsburg. Lidgett tells of a closet door that closed and opened on command, then refused to budge when the knob was twisted. Minutes later, the door fell to the ground.
“There were no pins in the hinges at all,” he said.
At the jail, there were recordings of voices, called Class A electronic voice phenomenon. “That’s when a sound or voice appears on audio but wasn’t heard with the human ear,” said Lidgett.
The voice heard was a woman’s. While it couldn’t be identified, Lidgett wonders if it might belong to a woman legend says was hanged there.
For Robert Reed, the events he wants explored are less dramatic, but still fascinating. The owner of Reed’s Funeral Home in Houtzdale, he says the mortuary, where he and his family have lived for 17 years, has had “a little bit of activity.”
“I have personally never seen anything, but my wife has seen apparitions. We’ve heard footsteps when nobody was home. My kids have heard it,” he said.
Lidgett did an investigation and activity was identified.
“We are the third family that has lived here,” said Reed of the house, built in 1896. “All the activities stem from the original family, the Gallaghers, or the family after that, the Hayes.”
But the voice he heard on Lidgett’s audio was more familiar. His mother’s voice. She will be gone two years this Saturday. “It just sounded like she was on the answering machine.”
Then Lidgett approached him asking to do tours, raising money for local charities. Lidgett is conducting a series of events this fall for his Scare Away Hunger drive, wanting to raise money for three local food banks. Reed agreed and will donate his portion of the funds to Houtzdale Fire Company, Houtzdale Ambulance and Houtzdale’s recreation field.
“It’s not a haunted house,” said Reed. “It’s not people jumping out at you.” Instead, it’s a tour of the home, with Lidgett and his team using their equipment to find anomalies. Six weekends of tours will conclude Friday and Saturday, from 9 p.m. to midnight, for $20 per person. Some nights are more active than others, but Lidgett says that shows the presence to be more haunting and less of a residual psychic energy that might be linked to an event.
“Many times, energies just want acknowledgement,” he said. “I tell people, when something happens, say hello. Even that can quiet it down.”
Whether conducting tours to educate and entertain the public, or helping a family find out what is happening in their home, Lidgett’s goals are the same. MVP’s mission statement is “dedicated to taking the fear away from the unknown,” and that’s what he wants to do.
“I want to know why. A lot of these things are just things we don’t understand,” said Lidgett, who believes certain events “timestamp history.”
“We do our best to debunk anything before we make any kind of determination that anything is paranormal.”
He has done that for the Reeds.
“There’s nothing here that we feel is Satanic, nothing that scares us, nothing that we feel frightened about,” said Reed. “We don’t fee like anybody is trying to get us to leave.”